Lyon snatch point at Caen with Man City next
Olympique Lyonnais continued their stuttering start to the season with a 2-2 draw at SM Caen on Saturday, salvaging a point thanks to Ferland Mendy's late equaliser.
SM Caen 2-2 Olympique Lyonnais
Lyon were looking for some momentum ahead of Wednesday's UEFA Champions League trip to Manchester City, but they struggled to find any as they were second best in the first half to a Caen side that had been unbeaten since their Week 1 meeting with Paris Saint-Germain.
Casimir Ninga's fearsome burst (8') was a first warning for the visitors, while former Lyon man Claudio Beauvue, who was making his first Ligue 1 Conforama start since featuring for OL in December 2015, dangerously flicked a Fayçal Fajr free-kick (16') wide of the far post.
Still, Lyon might have gone in front when Bertrand Traoré raced onto a through ball, but his weak pass for the unmarked Moussa Dembélé, making his Lyon debut following his summer move from Celtic, was easily cut out by Frédéric Guilbert (26').
Fajr's long-range effort brought a comfortable save from Anthony Lopes (40') before Nabil Fekir bent a free-kick past Brice Samba at the opposite end to give Lyon an unexpected lead at the break (45').
The advantage lasted just eight second-half minutes. Beauvue, brought down in the box by Mendy, whipped the penalty past Lopes for his second league goal in as many outings (53') to level. Mendy, who had already been booked, was fortunate to stay on the pitch.
The scales appeared to have tipped Lyon's way again when Alexander Djiku was sent off for a high foot on Fekir (55'), but Caen captain Prince Oniangué headed in another wickedly delivered Fajr set-piece (73') to put the hosts ahead.
Caen had let leads slip in two of their previous four league games this season, and though Samba's magnificent reflex stop prevented Dembélé pegging them back (77'), the former Olympique de Marseille goalkeeper seemed to misjudge Mendy's angled drive as it found the bottom corner (88').
Baïssama Sankoh's altercation with Rafael in added time meant Caen finished the game with nine men.
THE PLAYER: Fayçal Fajr
The Morocco international is the hub of Fabien Mercadal's side, creative and industrious, while his set-pieces will surely be an invaluable source of goal threat for Caen this season.
THE STAT: 15
Caen's 2-0 victory at Dijon FCO in Week 4 is their only win in their last 15 league outings.